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BRIDGE COMMUNITIES | 11th Annual Celebrating Women, Transforming Lives to Be Held Virtually


Hundreds of supporters from the western suburbs will join Bridge Communities on Friday, April 23, 2021 for the 11th Annual Spring Luncheon, “Celebrating Women, Transforming Lives.”

In accordance with the CDC guidelines, this year’s luncheon will be held in a virtual setting, with individual and small group celebrations taking place in homes and on patios across the Chicagoland area, and joining together remotely for an interactive video experience on April 23 at 12:30 PM.

The virtual luncheon celebration will include the same beloved components from the traditional “Celebrating Women, Transforming Lives” events, including the event emcee Judy Hsu of ABC7, and a selection of outstanding luncheon packages catered by My Chef. (Lunch Bunch and Soiree & Sips for Six meals will be available for curbside pickup from 9:45 AM-11:45 AM at The Danada House on the morning of April 23; Table for Ten meals will be delivered to your home). Virtual guests opting out of meal packages are welcome to participate in the event free of cost.

The event honors women making a difference in DuPage County, and proceeds will benefit the 100+ families served by Bridge Communities’ transitional housing program this year. Bridge Communities is thrilled to recognize two outstanding women in 2021:

Theodia Gillespie began her career with the Quad County Urban League in 1984, and since 1993 has served as the organization’s president and CEO, serving clients through education and workforce development in DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will Counties. Theodia believes education and employment opportunities garner great potential for individuals and their families, which will make a significant impact locally and put them in a position to build better lives. For her incredible heart and dedication to our community, Bridge Communities is honored to present Theodia with the Transforming Lives Award.

After a job loss and a difficult divorce, Sio Sotelo and her three young boys were facing homelessness. While at Bridge, Sio returned to school and now works to change lives as an RN for a substance and behavioral health clinic. She will complete her BSN this summer, and recently purchased a house. Sio also volunteers her time to coach Bridge mentors and clients on her highly effective budgeting strategies. Bridge Communities is thrilled to present Sio with the Life Transformed Award to honor her achievements.

Returning to emcee the luncheon will be Emmy-winning journalist Judy Hsu, an Integral part of the ABC 7 News team since 2001. In addition to her anchor responsibilities, Judy hosts a long format interview segment on Sunday mornings called “Our Chicago.” Judy hosted the sleep out Saturday rally for Bridge Communities in 2015, and has warmly welcomed supporters of Bridge again at our last four spring luncheons. Judy resides in the western suburbs with her husband and four children.

In addition to meeting the special honorees, guests of the event will also have the opportunity to help connect 100+ Bridge families to a better future this year. DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund has once more pledged a generous $15,000 matching grant, allowing supporters to double their impact for Bridge families striving towards success.

Bridge Communities would like to specially thank for the generosity: Matching Grant Donor DuPage Medical Group Charitable Fund; Emerald Sponsors, JC Licht and Waterton; and Diamond Sponsors Bank Financial, BeaksCo, My Chef, Ulta Beauty, and The Wintrust family of banks, including Wheaton Bank & Trust, Glen Ellyn Bank & Trust, Naperville Bank & Trust, and Bolingbrook Bank & Trust.

Tickets are still available for this very special virtual luncheon celebration! To RSVP, please visit

Bridge Communities is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to provide housing, mentoring and supportive services to homeless families in DuPage County. Bridge Communities’ vision is a community where all families are healthy, financially stable and living in affordable housing. In the past 33 years, Bridge Communities has helped more than 850 families cross the bridge from homelessness to hope and self-sufficiency. For more information, please visit

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